Dean of CLASS set to leave YSU

cmykFurnish, Shearle

Shearle Furnish, dean of Youngstown State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, will be leaving his position to become the founding dean of Arts, Letters, and Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His new position begins July 1.

Furnish was selected in 2007 to become the founding dean of CLASS from a pool of 59 candidates.

“I will be taking a very similar position to the one I have now…I’ll be a part of the leadership team helping to direct the transformation of the college [UALR],” Furnish said.

As the dean of CLASS, Furnish oversaw nine academic departments and 100 full time faculty, and helped implement master’s programs in Applied Behavior Analysis and gerontology, as well as aiding in the effort to increase retention and recruitment at the university.

During his time at YSU, Furnish was involved with a variety of activities to better the school, such as the creation of The News Outlet, a program for students interested in journalism, and the negotiation of a management agreement between the Ohio Historical Society and YSU, which allowed YSU to operate the Youngstown Historical Center for Labor and Industry.

“He [Furnish] was approachable. When I brought him problems he listened, and he surrounded himself with intelligent faculty, which I think is the mark of a great administrator,” said Julia Gergits, chair of the English Department.

“This has been a very important stage in my life. I’ve enjoyed it very much here, and I’m leaving many friends behind,” Furnish said.

To fill the hole left by Furnish’s departure, an interim will be selected, followed by a search for a new dean.

“I hope they [the Board of Trustees] conduct a very careful, very thoughtful search for a new dean. This is a large, multi-disciplinary college, and we need someone who can think large enough to serve its various needs,” Gergits said.

Furnish’s exit is one of several faculty departures this year at YSU, including the president, the provost, the vice president of university advancement, and the vice president for finance and administration.